Wednesday, April 16, 2014

lent :: ponder

Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain,
to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish.  Compassion challenges
us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep
with those in tears.  Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable
with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless.  Compassion means full 
immersion in the condition of being human.   
-Henri Nouwen
i so want to do this with my life. with my heart. 
but every day i choose my own desires and my selfishness wins out. 
yet. every day i will continue to ask Him to change me, to change my heart and to help me have compassion with those in my home and every person my life touches. i will not stop seeking and asking and pressing on. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

this man

i ADORE him.
that's all :-)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

the farm is open!

this past weekend was the opening weekend of the farm.
we couldn't make it out there on saturday, so on sunday we left church early and spent the day at the farm (with the rest of the county!)
there were easter egg hunts all afternoon (in age groups) levi was first...

then we ate the lunch we brought...

something about these 2 in this picture takes my breath away. i can't figure out what.
as much as i miss having "babies", having older kids is pretty great, too!

i mean?!?
they had marshmallows to roast!

we played...
then it was lincoln and sawyer's turn to find eggs!
and i didn't get any pictures of bailey and joshua in their hunt. and rebekah was too old!! :(

it was just a GOOD, fun day together.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

building with bailey

pat is building something with each kid.
he built a shelf with rebekah. (man...i didn't document that one well?? boo!)

and he built a bed for Saige with bailey.

they looked on the computer for what she wanted. she wanted a CANOPY bed.

i have to say this. pat wouldn't call himself "handy." saws and nails and workbenches aren't something he's super comfortable with. but, he makes his way...and teaches himself...all for the sake of time with his kids.

so. they made the bed together.
then brought it upstairs and told me my job was making it INTO a bed! (mattress, bedding, canopy.)

so on one of our MANY snow days, bailey and i went to the fabric store to get the materials. this girl. she knew EVERY color and material she wanted for each piece. neon pink (NOT to be confused with bright pink) tulle for the bedskirt. pink flannel for the sheets (saige needs to be cozy!) blue satin for the comforter. 3 pillows. 1 with an "S" on it. and WHITE tulle for the canopy. cut up the sides. and sparkly knobs on the corners. THANKfully we found it ALL!

she helped me sew it all. no pictures of that. there was no measuring or anything fancy. just holding pieces of fabric over the bed, eyeballing where i should cut, and making lots of hems. it wasn't pretty or precise. but she LOVEs it and that's what matters!!

that extra little piece of blue satin is saige's blanket :-)
i'm well aware that one day soon she will no longer want to play with a doll bed. i know we're on borrowed time as it is! i loved doing this with and for her.

next up: pat and joshua are building a model car. (i think that's what it's called?? :-))

Monday, April 7, 2014


i had "fun" weekend-y things to post, but i can't. not today.

today marks the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the rwandan genocide. 800,000 people (men, women and so many children) were massacred in a 100-day period.  it feels "far away" and foreign to most of you, i'm sure. but to our family, it's a part of us. and it always will be. neither lincoln nor levi were alive during the genocide (obviously) but the tiny country of Rwanda and every person that has been born since, continue to feel the effects of the horrific event.

the following was written by a political officer in Rwanda and a friend (that lives in Rwanda) posted it on her blog. it is a great summary of the events that took place:

On April 6, 1994, an airplane carrying the Rwandan president was shot down over Kigali. On April 7 - twenty years ago today - extremist Hutu government and militia leaders began executing one of the fastest and most devastating genocides in all of history, killing one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus, or about 20% of the country's population, in just one hundred days.

Unlike genocides perpetrated primarily by governments, Rwanda's leaders twenty years ago called upon Hutu citizens to slaughter their Tutsi neighbors, friends, and family members. Many who opposed or resisted the call to genocide were also killed, regardless of their ethnic group.

On April 10, ten thousand Tutsis from Nyamata gathered in the Catholic church, seeking safe haven from the wave of death engulfing their village. The church would become their final resting place, as the interhamwe militia and neighbors breached the fortified walls, first throwing grenades into the sanctuary and then entering to kill survivors with machetes, spears, and blunt force. Babies and children were not spared, as the attackers smashed them against the wall of the sanctuary.

Today, Nyamata church and the 45,000 people buried there remind us of the horror of genocide which began 20 years ago and continued for 100 days, ending when the Rwandan Patriotic Front defeated the forces of the former government, military, and genocidal militias.

Today, Rwanda's people have not allowed themselves to be defined by their past, building a nation that is a beacon of peace, stability, and growth in an often troubled region. Rather than seek vengeance for the crimes committed during the genocide, Rwanda has undertaken a process of national reconciliation, seeking to set aside the ethnic labels that divided the country in order to move forward as one nation and one people.

there are so many horrific pictures. i had to search and search for a picture that i felt i could even post here. a mass grave being dug...


and this is the church where 10,000 people fled and sought safety...assuming it WOULD keep them safe. it became their grave. the church remains today...and these children listen and pray 20 years later.

the people of rwanda are incredible. there are SO many stories of forgiveness and redemption. they have chosen to rise up and move on. as hard as it is that this despicable, senseless event is part of our family's story now; the fact that the response to it was forgiveness and strength makes me proud. and i pray that my Rwandan sons especially (but EVERY member of our family!) claim the truth that ALL can be redeemed by the One that is THE Redeemer.

Friday, April 4, 2014

a boy and his cars

sawyer was lining up his cars the other afternoon.
i noticed as i was walking by, and stopped, and sat.

he looked over at me and smiled the biggest smile. just because i was there.
i stayed and stayed. it was hard (i hate to admit how hard.) i thought of 14 things i could jump up and do "real quick." but i didn't. i sat there. and we sorted. and counted. and i just watched. and smiled when he looked up at my face. every time he looked up, i was looking at HIM...not my phone and not my list. {towards the end i DID get up and get my camera! i had to capture it ;-)}

one day {too soon} i'm going to wish for these moments back. i just know it.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

lent :: ponder

"And now, God, do it again -
bring rains to our drought-sticken lives
So those who planted their crops in despair
will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
So those who went off with heavy hearts
will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing."

Psalm 126: 4-6 MSG